The mo st co mmo n f acto rs include the f o llo

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Unformatted text preview: regular backup o f critical data planning f o r redundancy and disaster reco very in case o f an o utage vigilantly managing the mo ving target o f co mputer security issues With so much to do , it’s no wo nder that f irms spend 70 to 80 percent o f their inf o rmatio n systems (IS) budgets just to keep their systems running.C. Rettig, “The Tro uble with Enterprise So f tware,” MIT Slo an Management Rev iew 49, no . 1 (2007): 21—27. The price tag and co mplexity o f these tasks can push so me managers to think o f techno lo gy as being a co st sink rather than a strategic reso urce. These tasks are o f ten co llectively ref erred to as the t ot al cost of ownersh ip (T CO) o f an inf o rmatio n system. Understanding TCO is critical when making techno lo gy investment decisio ns. TCO is also a majo r driving f o rce behind the massive tech industry changes discussed in Chapter 10 "So f tware in Flux: P artly Clo udy and So metimes Free". Why Do Technology Projects Fail? Even tho ugh inf o rmatio n systems represent the largest po rtio n o f capital spending at mo st f irms, an asto nishing o ne in three techno lo gy develo pment pro jects f ail to be successf ully deplo yed.L. Dignan, “Survey: One in 3 IT P ro jects Fail; Management OK with It,” ZDNet, December 11, 2007. Imagine if a f irm lo st its investment in o ne o ut o f every three land purchases, o r when building o ne in three f acto ries. These statistics are dismal! Writing in IEEE Spectrum, risk co nsultant Ro bert Charette pro vides a so bering assessment o f the co st o f so f tware f ailures, stating, “The yearly tab f o r f ailed and tro ubled so f tware co nservatively runs so mewhere f ro m $ 60 to $ 70 billio n in the United States alo ne. Fo r that mo ney, yo u co uld launch the space shuttle o ne hundred times, build and deplo y the entire 24-satellite Glo bal P o sitio ning System, and develo p the Bo eing 777 f ro m scratch—and still have a f ew billio n lef t o ver.”R. Charette, “Why So f tware Fails,” IEEE Spectrum, September 2005. Why such a bad track reco rd? So metimes techno lo gy itself is to blame, o ther times it’s a f ailure to test systems adequately, and so metimes it’s a breakdo wn o f pro cess and pro cedures used to set specif icatio ns and manage pro jects. In o ne example, a multimillio n-do llar lo ss o n the NASA Mars Observer was traced back to a laughably simple o versight—Lo ckheed Martin co ntracto rs using English measurements, while the f o lks at NASA used the metric system.R. Llo yd, “Metric Mishap Caused Lo ss o f NASA Orbiter,” CNN, September 20, 1999. Yes, a $ 125 millio n taxpayer investment was lo st because a bunch o f ro cket scientists f ailed to pay attentio n to third grade math. When it co mes to the success o r f ailure o f technical pro jects, the devil really is in the details. P ro jects rarely f ail f o r just o ne reaso n. P ro ject po st-mo rtems o f ten po int to a co mbinatio n o f technical, pro ject management, and business decisio n blunders. The mo st co mmo n f acto rs include the f o llo wing:List largely based o n R. Charette, “Why So f tware Fails,” IEEE Spectrum, September 2005. Unrealistic o r unclear pro ject go als P o o r pro ject leadership and weak executive co mmitment Inaccurate estimates o f needed reso urces Badly def ined system requirements and allo wing “f eature creep” during develo pment P o o r repo rting o f the pro ject’s status P o o r co mmunicatio n amo ng custo mers, develo pers, and users Use o f immature techno lo gy Unmanaged risks Inability to handle the pro ject’s co mplexity Slo ppy develo pment and testing practices P o o r pro ject management Stakeho lder po litics Co mmercial pressures (e.g., leaving inadequate time o r enco uraging co rner-cutting) Managers need to understand the co mplexity invo lved in their techno lo gy investments, and that achieving success rarely lies with the strength o f the techno lo gy alo ne. But there is ho pe. Inf o rmatio n systems o rganizatio ns can wo rk to implement pro cedures to impro ve the o verall quality o f their develo pment practices. Mechanisms f o r quality impro vement include capabilit y mat urit y model int egrat ion (CMMI), which gauge an o rganizatio n’s pro cess maturity and capability in areas critical to develo ping and deplo ying techno lo gy pro jects, and pro vides a caref ully cho sen set o f best practices and guidelines to assist quality and pro cess impro vement.R. Kay, “QuickStudy: Capability Maturity Mo del Integratio n (CMMI),” Co mputerw o rld, January 24, 2005; and Carnegie Mello n So f tware Engineering Institute, Welco me to CMMI, 2009, http:/ / www.sei.cmu.edu/ cmmi. Firms are also well served to leverage established pro ject planning and so f tware develo pment metho do lo gies that o utline critical businesses pro cesses and stages when executing large-scale so f tware develo pment pro jects. The idea behind these metho do lo gies is straightf o rward—why reinvent the wheel when there is an o ppo rtunity to learn f ro m and f o llo w blueprints used by tho se who have executed successf ul ef f o rts. When metho do lo gies are applied to pro jects that are f ramed w...
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This document was uploaded on 01/31/2014.

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